Reunion with Franco

Reunion with Franco

Franco Human, Dean of the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA) Durban,  recently returned from the Reunion Islands after attending the annual Festival International du Film d' Afrique et des Iles (FIFAI) in October as a guest of honour representing  AFDA.

The FIFAI began in 2003 with an aim to promote auteur cinema and showcase film makers from the Caribbean, Africa and the Indian Ocean. Other guests included Joel Zito Araujo, a Brazilian filmmaker and David Constantine, a film director from Mauritius. Mohamed Said Ouma, the artistic director of the festival said “Reunion has a special interest in the South African film industry because it appears to be reaching maturity.” South Africa has created a name for itself at the festival. A South African film won in the first FIFAI and this year a film titled Nelson Mandela, the myth and me by Khalo Matabane  which won the Best SA Documentary Film at the Durban International Film Festival, was selected for this year’s festival. Ouma said “it was an honour to have Franco and Vincent Moloi, the South African director and screenwriter for television and film at the festival”.  

Le Port is one of Durban’s thirteen sister cities. These two cities have been linked by active projects since 2005. “My main objective was to establish relations with film and art schools in Reunion to detect possible connections and perhaps work on an exchange and/or reciprocating programme.” said Franco. “This would be a great start to getting co-productions in place between schools and the industry, as they are a part of France and therefore fall under our co-production treaty with them.  Developing students through a reciprocation programme will lay the foundations needed for co-productions in the future. ”

Amongst people Franco met was the mayor of Le Port Jean–Yves Langenier, who is  suppoprtive of developing the creative industries in his city. Additionally, he met with École Supérieure d'Art de la Réunion (ESA) and The Institute of Indian Ocean Image (ILOI). ESA is the only French speaking higher education art institution in the Indian Ocean region, which also provides a platform for meetings, exchanges, exhibitions, conferences and seminars and is aptly described as a “laboratory of cultures for culture”.  ILOI is a vocational training school in Reunion specialized in the fields of image and new media. It has international networks that include reputable animation schools and universities across France, China, Africa and Europe. “ILOI and ESA are two ongoing relationships I hope to build on next year .” said Franco.  The visit and relationships formed, I am sure will add huge  value going forward to our school and the students and naturally by extension, into the future co-productions with Le Reunion.  Reunion is not far away from Durban and we look forward to the potential that could be realised through developing relationships with them.”  

Franco said that he was pleasantly surprised by the film industry in Reunion. “Of course, it helps that there is one to start with and it seems to be a very expressive industry more than a commercial one.  They create beautiful images judging by the few films I was able to see.”

“Establishing and deepening relationships with other countries may yield beneficial outcomes for Durban, particularly its film industry.” said Franco.

The AFDA Durban Campus, headed by Human, has been open for 2 years and is making a significant mark on the local film industry through developing young film industry entrepeneurs who are now being seconded to work on films during their spare time and vacs.

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